Chandrashila literally means the "Moon Rock". It is located at a height of about 4,000 meters (13,000 ft) above sea level. Chandrashila peak provides a spectacular view of the Himalayas, especially Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks. There are various legends associated with this place. According to one of the legends, this is the place, where Lord Rama meditated after defeating the demon-king Ravana. While on this trek you can also visit Tungnath Temple - The highest Lord Shiva Temple. The trek is easy and very much doable on your own. But it's not a proper trekking experience as there is a cemented trail to the Tungnath temple and a well paved to the Chandrashila peak afterward. If real trekking experience is what you are looking for then you could explore Dayara Bugyal trek or Kedarkantha trek. These 4-5 days treks are popular Himalayan trails where you could also learn the basics of trekking like how to pitch a tent, how to use a sleeping bag and even ascending and descending on snow.
Haridwar to Sari
After getting down at Haridwar get a taxi to Sari Village. If you are planning to go by bus make sure you get the early morning bus to Ukhimath, from Ukhimath you can get a taxi to Sari. Sari is a small hemlet near Ukhimath. One has to take a 4 Km detour after 10 Kms from Ukhimath from state highway which goes straight to Gopeshwar via Chopta. It’s a 6-7 hr road journey to Sari. Stay in Hotel/Guest House. Distance from Haridwar to Sari by road is 220 Km.
Sari - Deoria Tal ( 2.5 Kms hike )
After having a hearty breakfast at Sari, Start your trek to Deoriatal. It’s a short 2 Km hike from Sari and will not take more than 2 hours at a relaxed pace. Total altitude again during the hike is about 1000 ft. It’s a safe hike as you can meet a lot of hikers and locals during the entire route till late in the night. Sari is visible throughout from the trail and there is no way you can lose your way as the entire trail is paved. After about 800 meters from Sari, there is a small ancient Shiva temple on your right which is an important landmark that points out you are mid-way, after another 300 meters from the temple there is a spot where forest department has put up some benches where you can relax for a while. View from this spot is breathtaking. There is a small hump at the end of the trail, once you get over it you have to cover another 300 meters downhill to reach Deoria Taal. Deoria Taal is a beautiful lake situated at a height of 7000 ft covered on one side by a beautiful bugyal (grassland) and other sides by a thick forest. On the North side across the lake, you can see majestic Kedarnath Range. Register yourself at the forest outpost which is at the entrance of camping ground, entry fees is 150 per person. Most of the times, mountains are a great place to experience Sunrise and Sunset but don’t chase them here at Deoria Taal. Instead, spend morning and evening time at this pristine lake. All of us have seen those famous photographs of reflection of Chaukhamba and other Kedar peaks in the pond, there is a platform built on the south end of this lake just below that is the ideal location of taking those photographs in the morning. Note: Make sure you take enough water along as there is none on the way.
Deoria Taal – Rohini Bugyal. 8 Kms trek.
Today we start early. Though the trek is 8 Kms long till camping site but climbs are moderate and stretched out. Once you leave the camping site follow the trail going towards east into the woods. You can stop for having a look at the valley from a watch tower which located on far north side of the Lake. Initially the trail is pretty mild and it seems like a walk in the park for initial 2-3 kms. Once this easy walk is over there is a sudden and steep climb to Jhandi top. This climb may take anywhere between 30 mins to 1 hour depending upon your experience in the mountains. Jhandi top is one of the highest point in today’s hike and once on the top you will realize it was worth the effort. Down south-west you can see beautiful Sari Village and the trail to Deoria Taal which you took a day before. Be careful at this spot as there is steep drop of around 500ft on the south side. Once you cross Jhandi top the trail goes down steeply into thick Rhododendron forest. Take extra precaution while following this trail as there are sections of pretty steep descents. Once this descent is over, trail turns towards east again, after about 15 minutes more there is again a short climb of 15 mins after which trail flattens out. This is one of the most enjoyable section of today’s hike. On your left beautiful Kedarnath range is following you with Chaukhamba being the prominent one and on your right is thick forest which even sunlight can’t penetrate. After about an hour of walking on this flat trail it turns suddenly south and after descent of about 300 mtrs it turns east again, there is 200 mtrs long straight climb with hillocks on both sides. There is a peculiar feature here which we generally don’t encounter during hikes in Himalayas, the width of the trail at this point is somewhere around 150-200 ft. After this point there is a series of climbs and descents but don’t worry the crest and troughs are not very deep. Another feature of trail here onwards is also a series of open grass lands, not very large though. We camp here tonight. During March-April time the Rhododendron is in full bloom and the entire forest was turned into pink and red. Note: Carry at least 2 liters of water for one person, no water for 8 Kms
Rohini Bugyal – Chopta/Martoli. 6 Kms trek.
Today is an easy hike till Chopta. As you start from the campsite and once you cross the grass lands, trail becomes very mild and mostly full of easy descents. The trail finally descends down to a waterfall. Just near the point where waterfall meets the ground there is a small open space which can be used for camping as well for a small group of 8-10 people. Though the view is constrained by thick forest and mountain on 3 sides but still it’s a good camping site due to availability of water, when you consider the fact that there is no water on the entire trail from Deoria Taal till here. Also it’s a different experience to camp in the middle of the forest when you have camped in bugyals for most of the times. Since Chopta is a declared forest range, wild animals might come for water at night, one has to be extra careful while camping here. There is a concrete bridge across this stream, cross that bridge and follow the trail that is going up. It’s decent climb of about an hour when you hit an open grassland again. This place is about 45 mins from the state highway that connects Ukhimuth to Gopeshwar and hence an ideal location to camp for the night away from the hustle-bustle of Chopta. There are few considerations to take into account while camping here one is availability of water which is not very consistent here and other availability of space since it’s a small place and lot of other trekkers might be vying for space here. If you don’t find either space or water dash towards Chopta which should not take more than 3 mins from here. Find a suitable camping site there as they are in plenty in Chopta. Another reason for camping in Chopta is that it increases your chances of seeing a Sunrise from Chandrashilla as you are closer to Tungnath trail in Chopta.
Martoli/Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashilla - Chopta. 9 Kms Trek.
“The early morning has gold in its mouth.”- Benjamin Franklin Today’s the last and final day of our hike and to make most out of it we will follow a very simple process “Wake up Early”. We will start our day at 03:30 AM. After morning rituals and some hot tea we will start our “Yatra” to Tungnath. Do remember to carry something to eat on the way as it’s very difficult to have breakfast at this hour of the day, not because it can’t be prepared, but because one doesn’t feel like having something. A well paved trail starts from Chopta taxi stand and has a large gate where you can see “Tungnath 3.03 Kms” written on the gate itself which according to my GPS device is a little less than what it actually is. It is 3.87kms from that gate. The climb to Tungnath is pretty steep and can take anywhere between 1 ½ to 2hrs for average trekker. The entire trail is paved and has small tea shops which would be closed, off course at 4:00 AM in the morning. Tungnath is an ancient temple dedicated to lord Shiva and is one of the Panch Kedars. You may frown upon it being a common pilgrimage route but what you can’t take away from it is that the entire trail is mesmerizingly beautiful and the views are simply breath taking. Last section of climb to Tungnath is long steep climb of about 300-400 mts long. Once you reach Tungnath take some time to admire the beauty of architecture and hard work put in by those Artisans who built it a millennium ago when there were no modern tools and facilities available in the remotest part of the world. “A job is not over till it’s over” once you reach Tungnath there is a feeling that you were not able to get the 360 Degree view of those snow covered peaks, so go ahead and climb to Chandrashilla which forms the backdrop of Tungnath Temple on eastern side. It takes an hour to reach the peak from here and the distance is around 1 Kms. The climb is not very steep but the altitude makes is little difficult make quick advances to the summit. But if you keep on climbing without too much of rests in between you still have a fairly good chance of making it to the top just before or after the sunrise. You get entire 360 view from this spot with Chaukhamba again being the most prominent one. Same trail to be taken while coming back to the camp in Chopta. Stay in tents tonight. Note : Carry enough water, fruits and energy bar if you are starting early in the morning.
Road Journey from Chopta to Haridwar (186 Km)
Transportation from Chopta to Haridwar in not covered in the trek fee. If you wish to book it with us, please select this option while booking. The vehicle will start early in the morning from Chopta. Expect to reach Haridwar by late evening. In case you wish to extend your stay Chopta there are nice Guest House/Eco Lodge options which you can book directly.
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For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
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